World | Pakistan

Panic as Pakistan quake cause tremors in UAE

Residents "horrified" after powerful quake in Pakistan causes tremors in the UAE

  • By Aftab Kazmi, Al Ain Bureau Chief
  • Published: 19:08 January 19, 2011

Pakistan quake destroys infrastructure
  • Image Credit: AFP
  • A Pakistani resident clears debris of his collapsed mud house following an earthquake in the town of Dalbandin, close to the border with Afghanistan.
Image 1 of 6
123456

Al Ain: People in the emirates were surprised at the range of the earthquake that hit southwestern Pakistan that sent strong shock waves as far as Al Ain.

The shock wave took just four minutes to travel more than a thousand kilometres from the epicentre to the Oasis city of the UAE.

Major earthquakes in 2010

The time of earthquake in Dalbandin in Pakistan's Balochistan province, a town close to the epicentre, was at 12:23pm (UAE time) and its waves hit different UAE cities and Al Ain at 12:27pm.

There was also an aftershock of 4.9 magnitude on the Richter scale but its wave did not travel far.

The quake, though declared as a major, occured deep inside the earth, which is why experts said it caused just minor property damage in Pakistan.

Radio 2 listener Neil Ollier recounts experiencing the tremor that hit UAE

Listen!

* Audio supplied by Radio 2

A quake of this magnitude is capable of causing widespread and heavy damage if occurred closer to the surface and populated centres.

Windows, doors, and household items rattled in most of the UAE major cities in the middle of night when the tremor hit the area. People, many of them fast asleep, woke up and rushed outside the homes and buildings. The duration of the jolts was less than a minute.

It was the third earthquake in the recent history shock waves of which reached Al Ain. The first quake that rocked different UAE city and reached as far as Al Ain was occurred on November 27, 2005.

The first tremor that was felt in the UAE in the recent history was in Masafi areas on March 3, 1999.

The earthquake monitoring stations of the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) intercepted of the quake waves and a confirmation was released at around 2:00am, saying the earthquake caused no harm in the country.

A senior official of the NCMS said it was high magnitude but fortunately a deep earthquake that caused no damage. He said a lot of people called the centre and police immediately after the jolts.

Doneet Lobo, an Indian resident of Al Ain, said he was reading a book at his bed when the tremors were felt. He immediately got out of the room.

“The things around me rattled for a few seconds and I was horrified,” said Lobo. He said he immediately contacted his friends in the city and they informed him that they felt the tremor.

Saji, a Gulf News reader living in Dubai, said: “I live on the first floor of a building in Deira. While sitting on my rocking chair and watching television I felt the severe shaking of my chair as if it was being tested for torque. I felt around five jerks. I then saw the window of the room shaking loudly.”

Shaikh Abideen said he was in a hotel room on the fourth floor and was working on his laptop. “At around 12.27am my bed and chandeliers started shaking. I jumped out of my bed and ran towards the window to see if I could see anything,” he said. Abideen said he, however, could not see anything unusual outside, but “I was sure it was an earthquake.”

Naresh from Sharjah said: “I live on the 14th floor and… I saw my wardrobe shake. I immediately went to the balcony to see what was happening. As soon as I reached I thought I was getting dizzy as everything was shaking.”

He said he saw lights in the opposite buildings flickering and then realised that it was an earthquake. “I went downstairs and saw some people gathering on the street so I joined them. This is the first time I have felt a tremor. It is scary,” said Naresh.

Serena Azmat, another resident of Sharjah, said she was sleeping when felt that her bed was rocking like a boat. “I immediately got up to investigate and stubbed my toe in the process of trying to navigate around the room in the dark,” she said.

Seismologists say that the UAE is located close to the world's major earthquake zone, which is why it is prone to shockwaves from quakes at nearby countries.

Experts' major concern, however, comes from the seismic activity in the Zagros earthquake belt in western Iran. Iran has a history of earthquake and a major fault line. The Zagros fault line passes through the southern Iran.

The emirates also have three local fault zones that are located near Dibba, between Bidyah and Jebel Salhal, and Wadi Ham. The areas have been hit by several earthquakes since March 1999.

Have you ever experienced a major earthquake? Do you know what to do in the event of one? Do you have any specific safety concerns? Tell us by posting a comment below or by emailing us at readers@gulfnews.com.

Comments (51)

  1. Added 19:25 January 19, 2011

    This was a major blow. we are living in 7th floor at RAK and for some seconds whole building was shaking. We ran away to stair case. All of the building residents leave the building in panic. women were crying . It was horrific experience.

    Sumair, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 18:26 January 19, 2011

    my daughter shouted everything is vibrating , my wife also felt that,but some who I did not ,may be females more sensitive about it?

    Narendra Tyagi, Dubai (Al Badaa), United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 18:19 January 19, 2011

    Hi All, Something strange happened yesterday late night. I was just lying on the bed felt a shake, I thought it was my imagination. After, few seconds there was another one then I realised it was earth quake with a very small magnitude. But, got to confirm only after the news. Regards, Kalyan

    Kalyan, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 16:56 January 19, 2011

    I was sitting on sofa & reading Quran, immediately the sofa shook for a little while, then i rush to inform my husband, he was sleeping that time. then we went to sleep without bothering what was happened. today i read the in gulf news then only i we came to know that it was earthquake tremors.

    Rizwana Sultana, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 16:31 January 19, 2011

    we live in buhairah corniche. my parents and i were watching cricket match and suddenly our sofa shook. we were wondering what happened.we also saw the legs of our sofa shaking.then we realized it was an earthquake.we also saw a few people standing below our building.we were really scared when our sofa shook.

    Nitika Thethi, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 15:26 January 19, 2011

    The earthquake was strongly felt for 6 or 7 seconds in Al Nahda, our tv cabinet and lamps were shaking. What was magnitude on richter for the tremors felt in UAE..

    Pinky, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 15:16 January 19, 2011

    I was completely sleeping and felt vibration on my bed at sixth floor at Bur Dubai, same as I felt some years back in India, one friend was surfing net, one just watched Cricket match. When I told them about vibration on Bed and perhaps in Building too, they simply neglected saying may b ur bed is such....! Another told that is what u might felt while Yusuf Pathan had shot Sixer..... admirable play causing WIN for Indian team......! later after few minutes I again fall asleep and learnt about QUAKE hit from Palistan upto UAE through India in daily news! May Allah save us from such turmoils......Azaabs !

    Advocate Kasim, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 14:58 January 19, 2011

    we live on the Palm in Jumeriah we felt the earthquake only for a few seconds everything shook.

    lesley, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 14:50 January 19, 2011

    I had a very deep sleep last night, but the earthquake wakes me up... I thought I was just dreaming... just now I realize that it was real... after reading the news.

    May, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 14:36 January 19, 2011

    We were watching a Movie on a laptop when my friend noticed first and asked me whether i was shaking the legs to cause a vibration in the sofa. Now atleast he knows i have not done that. I thought it was an earthquake and opened my door only to see my friend running behind me. but no one in the neighbourhood opened their doors so we went back to continue watching the movie not knowing how lucky we were...:)

    Shafi, Ajman, United Arab Emirates

  11. View more comments

News Editor's choice